About this project
The From Farm to Fork (FFF) strategy was designed to build a fair and sustainable food system. While FFF ticks many boxes in the sustainability agenda, it does not address how to improve crop nutritional quality. In ImprUV+, we are employing an analytical toolbox that goes beyond the FFF concept to explore whether ultraviolet light (UV) during plant growth improve the nutritional quality of horticultural crops. Firstly, we are applying targeted, semi-targeted and non-targeted metabolomics approaches to explore UV effects on plant metabolism but since plant health benefits are also dependent on human gut microbiota fermentation, we are also employing metabolomics to explore the extracts of control and UV-exposed plants obtained after fermentation by the human gut microbiota. Finally, reporter cell assays are applied to validate whether the fermentation products of control and UV-exposed plants differentially activate human intestinal receptors. By combining plant science, metabolomics and gut health, ImprUV+ will deepen our knowledge about plant responses to UV, while bringing a simple and energy-efficient strategy to improve crop nutritional quality and providing insights into potential benefits on human health.